Putting one more plot twist in the seemingly endless saga of real-time electronic "helper" systems, Nissan
has announced a pair of advanced variations on the driver-assist theme that are set to launch this fall on the 2010 home-market Fuga sedan
(sold here as the Infiniti
M). The first is a Navigation-Cooperative Intelligent Pedal, which basically integrates the existing Distance Control Assist with real-time GPS data from the navigation system to help slow the vehicle down as it approaches a curve in the road. When the mapping data indicates a corner looming ahead, the "Intelligent Pedal" automatically nudges the accelerator upward to encourage the driver to release pressure. With liftoff completed, it then smoothly engages the brakes to slow the vehicle down. Nissan claims this is the first production-ready package that integrates the navigation system, accelerator and brakes in this manner to help reduce the potential for driver fatigue. Complementing the Navigation-Cooperative Intelligent Pedal is Active Stability Assist. It, too, is designed to create a more relaxing driving environment by better synchronizing the vehicle's steering, braking and engine response. Programmed to evaluate a driver's inputs in those critical areas, it's able to individually control and optimize the amount of motive or brake forces going to each wheel and provide a smoother response while enhancing the driver's sense of control. Nissan confirmed that at least some of this technology will be found on future vehicles sold here in the U.S as well, but offered no other specifics regarding applications or timing.